Football betting has exploded in popularity in recent years. With the legalisation and growth of sports betting in the US, more fans than ever are trying their hand at wagering on football games. However, for beginners, understanding the basics of betting lines, platforms, strategies, and potential pitfalls takes some guidance. This ultimate guide breaks down everything you need to know to bet on football games like a seasoned pro.
UNDERSTANDING FOOTBALL BETTING ODDS
The first key to football betting is understanding the different types of wagers and how to interpret the odds. The main options are:
This is a straight bet on which team will win the game. Odds are based on the perceived probabilities of each outcome and are expressed in positive and negative values:
Here, the Patriots are favoured at -200 odds, meaning you’d need to bet $200 to win $100. The Jets are underdogs at +150, so a $100 bet could win $150.
The point spread handicaps the favourite by “giving” points while “taking” points from the underdog to even out the chances of each team covering the spread.
The Patriots must win by 8+ points to cover the -7 spread. The Jets cover by winning outright or losing by six or fewer. The -110 odds on both sides refer to the vig, which is the profit margin for the sportsbook. It means you must bet $110 to win $100.
Totals betting involves wagering on the combined score of both teams. Sportsbooks set a benchmark total points line, and you bet whether the final score will finish Over or Under that line:
|Total Points Line
|Over 45.5 points
|Under 45.5 points
Both teams’ combined score must exceed 45 points for the Over to cash. If it stays at 45 or less, the Under wins.
These wagers focus on the outcome of a game’s first or second half. The odds and bet types work the same way as regular full-game bets, except applied to only part of the contest. You can bet first-half point spreads, money lines, totals or a combination. Halftime lines take shape during the break as oddsmakers digest the first 30 minutes and set updated numbers.
Parlays involve bundling together two or more picks under one wager. This ratchets up the risk and exponentially boosts the possible payout if all legs win.
For example, hitting three +200 moneyline underdogs separately pays $600 from a $100 three-part bet. Under a $100 three-team parlay, those picks soaring to +750 odds pay a mammoth $7,500 if perfect.
Teasers let you adjust the point spread or total in your favour by a fixed number of points. Football teasers commonly manipulate lines by 6, 6.5 or 7 points. Similar to parlays, teasers bundle together at least two picks. However, “teasing” each spread or total down upgrades underdogs or overs, making the wager more likely to cash. However, as with any derivative bets, the payoff odds diminish significantly compared to standard bets.
These season-long bets typically have long shelf lives, with odds adjusting over the duration. Common futures include Super Bowl winner, team win totals, and player awards like MVP and Rookie of the Year. Futures present immense early value opportunities. Accurately projecting results days, weeks or months down the road is challenging for oddsmakers. This allows savvy bettors to extract excellent odds by moving quickly in response to line shifts.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BETTING PLATFORM
With sports betting exploding across the US, bettors have more options than ever for placing wagers. Here are vital factors to consider when choosing platforms:
You’ll generally have a choice between betting online offshore or with state-regulated domestic sportsbooks. New state markets feature the latest tech innovations but offer more limited markets. Offshore sites serve the US with hundreds more weekly football games and diverse betting options.
BASIC BETTING STRATEGIES
While betting on instinct can sometimes pan out, making informed, strategic decisions based on data and matchups leads to more profitable results. Here are vital tips for beginners:
Avoid traps like betting favourites only, chasing losses, and betting more than 1-5% of your bankroll per wager. Implementing disciplined habits takes time but creates a pathway to sustaining betting success.
ADVANCED BETTING TECHNIQUES
Once you grasp the basics, exploring more advanced techniques opens up more significant profit potential:
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BETTING ON FOOTBALL
Implementing proper practices takes discipline, as these impulsive mistakes can sink bankrolls fast:
LEGAL AND RESPONSIBLE BETTING
While more states regulate betting within their borders yearly, federal laws still prohibit interstate online wagering. Offshore sites offer betting apps and convenient banking to fill this void. They are licensed and regulated in their jurisdictions to provide legal NFL, college football and other sports betting to US residents. Whether betting legally online offshore or with state sites, practising responsible gambling habits is vital:
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Football betting presents exciting profit potential for fans every fall Saturday and Sunday. By learning the critical fundamentals around odds, bankroll strategy, and responsible betting, novice bettors can develop skills responsibly to thrive in the long term. Follow these tips to avoid pitfalls and optimise profits this football season.